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Friday, July 25, 2014

1. An introduction to some famous Durnford ancestors

The Ancestors who make up this family have come from so many different parts of Europe.

From King and Queens, to Knights, Archbishops, Saints, Lord Mayors and finally through to my great great grandfather Montagu John Felton Durnford whose arrival in Australia stemmed from a rather shameful past!

Their mix is so varied.  Along the way I  have made sure that the relationships between these ancestors has been verified as best as possible. 

However sometime the relevant information is difficult to determine, as people were often known under a variety of different names.  This is particularly so when the styling of a name a thousand years ago was relative to the place where they lived. 

Members of the different Royal families were known as the Count of Vermandois or the Duke of Normandy to the Kings and Queens of England and Scotland.  Often as in the case of Guilliame 1 who was named Longsword or Rolla from Norway, known as The Pirate King!  

It was quite common for both men and women to have multiple husbands. 

Why then were the women known as Concubines? 

While it was an accepted practice for the men to sire children with anyone who took their fancy!

The winds of time rustle the branches of the Family Trees of our ancestors. those families can best be described as the fruits of the trees.  Those fruits are often cross-pollinated by the bees, the lives of my ancestors also often crossed, resulting in mixed relationships.

Following the Issacson Line through the generations was such a fascinating step back through history.

 From the early Goths, Kings and Queens of France and Italy.   Added to the mix are members of  Royal Families including those of Norway, Sweden Germany Ukraine, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Denmark.  Everyone seemed to want to be a King!

King Bernard of Italy and Queen Cunegonde di Toulouse (33rd Great grandparents) had several children, and through those children some of our grandparents were also great aunts and uncles! 

Perhaps within a Royal Family there are limited opportunities for marriage to those of equal standing. 
One of our earlier Royal Connections was King Charlemagne of France                                   our 35th Great Grandfather. 

King Charlemagne of France  b 742 - 814  

He married Hildegarde Von Vinzgau and they had a son Peppin I of Carloman who became King of Italy

King Peppin I of Carloman Italy b 777 -810  married Queen Bertha de Toulise and they had a son who became  King Bernard of Italy.

King Bernard of Italy b  797 - 818   married Queen Cunegonde de Toulous  
and they had a son Peppin II de Peronne   our 32 great grandfather

Count Pepin II de Peronne b 818      married Rothaide de Bobbio and they had a son Count Pepin III de Senlis


Count Pepin III de Senlis de Valois  861 – 893 married Cunigunde (Adela) Duchess de Rennes and they had a son Bernard Comte de Senlis

These Kings have been very influential components of this Family Tree.  Through their many children from wives and concubines Royal blood has filtered through my ancestors for centuries.

To give you an example of the lives of some of the family, let’s follow the life of Count Pepin II.    (from Wikipeadia)

Pepin (born c. 818) was the first count of Vermandois, lord of Senlis, Péronne, and Saint Quentin.[1] He was the son of King Bernard of Italy and Cunigunda.  Pepin first appears in 834 as a count to the north of the Seine and then appears as same again in 840. In that year, he supported Lothair I against Louis the Pious.
Pepin's wife is unknown, she has been spuriously called "Rothaide de Bobbio". His heir inherited much Nibelungid territory and so historian K. F. Werner hypothesized a marriage to a daughter of Theodoric Nibelung. Their children were:
  • Bernard (c. 844 – after 893), count of Laon
  • Gerberge (born c. 854)
  • Pepin (c. 846–893), count of Senlis and lord of Valois (877–893)
  • Herbert I of Vermandois[2] (c. 850–907)
  • Beatrix (born c. 854)
  • Mathilde (born c. 857)
  • Adelaide (born c. 858)
  • Cunigunda

Herbert I of Vermandois (c. 848/850 – 907), Count of Vermandois, lord of Senlis, of Péronne and of Saint Quentin, was the son of Pepin of Vermandois.[1]

Marriage and issue

Many secondary works call his wife Bertha de Morvois.[2] The main basis of the claim is Historia Walciodorensis Monasterii, an account of the founder of Waulsort monastery, Ybert de Ribemont (Eilbertus, Elbertus), which includes a fabricated genealogy.[3][4] They are commonly assigned the following children although, again, contemporary testimony is wanting:
  • Cunigunde of Vermandois (d. 943)
  • Adele of Vermandois

I hope you enjoy travelling back in time to experience life as it was all those thousands of years ago, and more importantly just how lucky we are that one direct line of ancestors can be traced through the years by its connections to Royalty.

We share the same great grandparents as Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Prince William, all from different branches of the trees!

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